View Poll Results: Would you support strictly using self-driving automobiles?

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  • Yes

    15 28.85%
  • No

    28 53.85%
  • Unsure

    9 17.31%
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Thread: Self-driving automobiles

  1. #21
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Cool that you're a mathematician and computer scientist! That is totally out of my realm

    As for your proposal... yes I would support it. In fact, I would say that ownership of cars would not even be necessary if a good transport system could be designed that is disseminated enough to allow a wide range of transport. Unless of course one is going to the country or off the beaten path, but even they could link their car with the automated driving network to get reasonable far.

    The fossil fuel industry really did a number on efficient transportation infrastructure in North America. The city I'm living in now, Vancouver, used to have a wide range trolly system all over the city, but it got replaced with paved roads once it was felt that fuelled cars were the future. Gas companies and car companies gave substantial endorsements to city counsellors and that changed the whole game, forever.

    Imagine how much fuel we could save with an automated driving network.

  2. #22
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by shintao View Post
    People don't want cars that drive themselves and rob them of the fun of driving and making mistakes with accidents or killing other people, etc. Their refusal to ride mass transit systems is evidence of that.
    People don't refuse to ride mass transit. Mass transit is extremely popular wherever it is convenient (which unfortunately doesn't describe too many US cities). There are a lot fewer people out joyriding than there are people who dread their daily commute to work and would love an alternative where they could get there safely in half the time with no stress, while doing something productive/enjoyable instead of watching the road.

    As I see it, driverless cars will probably play out in several steps. The first wave will be when a few enthusiasts buy them and everyone else is skeptical if self-driving cars are safe. The second wave will be when most people want them and they're skeptical if human drivers are safe. The third wave will be when it's obvious to nearly everyone that computers can drive more safely than humans, and states start implementing safety laws restricting human driving. This process might take a couple decades, from the time they first hit the market.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 08-20-11 at 05:36 AM.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathematician View Post
    As an applied mathematician and computer scientist, I am curious what percentage of the public would accept the conversion from using human-driven automobiles to self-driving automobiles. The necessary technology is clearly realistic. Let's assume, for the sake of simplicity, that the cost will be relatively the same. Here is just an initial list of benefits of my proposal:
    1. Prevention of DUI
    2. Prevention of accidents due to poor driving skills
    3. Prevention of traffic jams
    4. Potential to increase speed limits
    5. Freedom to focus on other things (child, eating, work, etc.)
    6. Auto-navigation

    Some of these even have benefits as a consequence, such as improved fuel efficiency as a result of fewer/no traffic jams. What support or opposition does anyone wish to provide?
    It's a great idea, with most of the technology readily available now, however it is illegal in all 50 states(iirc).
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  4. #24
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    While I like the idea of being able to do something else during my 2.5 hours a day in the car to and from work, the idea of sitting at the wheel of a car doing 80 and not being in control of it would make me real nervous.
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  5. #25
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    While I like the idea of being able to do something else during my 2.5 hours a day in the car to and from work, the idea of sitting at the wheel of a car doing 80 and not being in control of it would make me real nervous.
    You'd get used to it.

    They have cars that parallel park for people and warn of potential accidents, only a matter of time.
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  6. #26
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    It's a great idea, with most of the technology readily available now, however it is illegal in all 50 states(iirc).
    It's legal in California, at least for R&D purposes. Google has a fleet of computer-driven cars that are driving around public roads in California and have logged over a million miles altogether, apparently extremely successfully.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    You'd get used to it.

    They have cars that parallel park for people and warn of potential accidents, only a matter of time.
    I'm sure I'd get used to it eventually, but I wouldn't be one of the early adopters. I'd definitely wait until the technology had been proven for a few years.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    I've long supported this concept but I have a few major reservations. What you don't mention is where the locus of control resides. Will traffic control be centralized to some facility which will send out commands to the cars or will the control be decentralized with each car making decisions about the situation it faces in it immediate environment?

    I fear that a move to self-driving automobiles will be like a honey-pot for hackers and those with some hacking skills who are intent on causing accidents. If someone with bad intent gains control of either a centralized system or other people's decentralized cars, then all hell will break loose. What do you have in mind to maintain system integrity?
    We can minimize the potential impact of a hacker by having the control reside within the vehicle itself. If there was a central location which actually controlled all active vehicles then a hacker could decide to play with cars like a male toddler. To prevent the hackers period, I'll call up some friends of mine who have more experience in information security. As you can see, this will reduce but not eliminate the need for insurance.
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  9. #29
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    The google car is impressive, but it still has yet to prove itself to the public. I am skeptical the car could handle traffic cops, construction, detours or emergency vehicles without human input. I don't doubt that the issues can be worked out, but it is more practical to start with freeway driving before moving to residential areas.
    For traffic cops, give them the authority to override the system or shut the car down, similar to what they do with bait cars. I see this as even cutting down on vehicle theft. Construction would be noted within the navigation system. You could even get more precise with what hours there are construction workers on the job. The system will already be smoother for emergency vehicles to get to their destination, but there are other advantages you could give them.
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    "It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well."
    "It is truth very certain that, when it is not in one's power to determine what is true, we ought to follow what is more probable." -- Rene Descartes

  10. #30
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    To this ("self-driving"), there can be no answer.
    Every decade we are moving closer to this, it will be reality in 2100 , if the conservatives do not get carried away with their ideology. Even then, I'd prefer to DIY...But, then, we will have to be much more social than we are today.

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